Old 02-24-2009, 11:39 PM   #1
rathman11
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Hi all,

I really enjoy looking at all of your photos on railpictures.net. It really gets me excited to go out and snap some great photos myself. Before I get into my problems I'll let you guys know what I'm working with. I purchased a Canon Rebel XTi about 6 months back and have been using the standard 18-55 mm lens. Seeing as I am a poor college student I have yet to save up enough money to invest in a new lens.

Anyways, first and probably the biggest issue I have is that I do not have a proper photo editing program. I simply put my photos into my Nero program and let it auto adjust. However, when I resize my photos to the preferred size I am losing a lot of quality in my images, resulting in my hesitation to try and submit my photos. I feel that my originals are excellent shots but after resizing I get really discouraged. Is it in my best interest to pick up a new program? I have been reading up on Photoshop Elements 7 and think that would be a good start. However, I am photo editing dumb I guess you could say and have no clue where to start.

I guess the second issue I have is how to properly use the tools in a photo editing program. Is this something I will need to learn on my own via trial and error? Are there any helpful websites out there or should I just nail down the manual that comes with whatever program I end up purchasing?

Lastly, here is a photo I submitted over the weekend and received a rejection for undersharpened and PEQ. I really like the photo and the setting it was taken under. I would love any and all feedback. I take no offense in any criticism given because I am new to this rail photography and by the looks of all of your pictures, you have got this thing down!

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...&key=534173527

Thanks a bunch and hopefully I didn't bore any of you!
Jason
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:09 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums! I see you're in Minnetonka, there are quite a few members of the forums here from this area, myself included.

With regards to software, if you're on a super tight budget, look into the Gimp, which is free, or save your pennies up for PhotoShop Elements.

With regards to the photo, I think the logic behind the PEQ for your shot has to do with the fact that's not "railroady" enough, in the sense that most people would look at that shot and have no idea as to what they were really looking at. If it were a little bit wider it might reveal the reailhead or wheels, and make it more obvious.

As long as you keep asking questions and don't get too aggravated when your stuff is rejected, you're bound to do well here eventually. Good luck
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:27 AM   #3
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Picasa is free, from Google, and is well regarded. As for editing, there are basic steps but those will be easier to explain once you have something installed.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:35 AM   #4
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I actually like your rejection with the exception of the softness. Only suggestion is to not cut off the steps if you have them in your original. The steps and hand rail tells me that it is a RR coach of some sort, so its not like it doesn't have the non-RR related PEQ clause.

I also use GIMP, and will promote it if you are looking for a free download.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:10 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the tips and pointers. Keep them coming! Ottergoose, here is another shot from a wider angle that includes both welding and grinding action and shows the coupler and wheels.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24436359@N07/3302756108/

Is this more of what you had in mind? And if so, is this RP worthy?

EMTRailfan, my rejected shot was not cropped and does cut off the steps but I do have another shot that does not cut them off, is that something worth submitting?

Last edited by rathman11; 02-25-2009 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rathman11 View Post
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the tips and pointers. Keep them coming! Ottergoose, here is another shot from a wider angle that includes both welding and grinding action and shows the coupler and wheels.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24436359@N07/3302756108/

Is this more of what you had in mind? And if so, is this RP worthy?
Uh...YEAHHHH!!! Awesome shot!
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2) View Post
Uh...YEAHHHH!!! Awesome shot!
RP Lesson #3; you get that kind of response from a screener, you need to be hitting that submit button very, very soon!

Nice work.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2) View Post
Uh...YEAHHHH!!! Awesome shot!
I agree. Now THAT is the money shot.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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The wider shot is way better... still needs to be processed properly though.

Looks like you're on your way
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:50 PM   #10
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I still like the idea of the 1st shot, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose View Post
The wider shot is way better... still needs to be processed properly though.

Looks like you're on your way
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:30 PM   #11
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The second shot is very nice.

As far as editing software, there is a free trial download of Photoshp Elements 7 available at the Adobe site. I am using it now and am quite happy with it so far, I will probably end up buying it.

Once you have the software, look for websites that have tutorials on them-there are thousands out there. That's basically how I learned to do anything with Paint Shop Pro. Since I got a DSLR I wanted something that was more RAW friendly. I have also used Picasa but if you can afford PSE 7 my impression so far is it's worth the money.

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Old 02-25-2009, 10:28 PM   #12
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So I posted the wider angle shot and got a rejection for bad cropping. Here is a link to it:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewreje...d=650182&key=0

Any suggestions on what I should do to improve the cropping? I didn't take anything away from the sides because I like how it shows the wheels on the left and I felt if I cropped the right side it would be unbalanced. Anyways, fire away with suggestions.

Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:14 PM   #13
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Sometimes the rejection is for something major, sometimes it can be something small and odd, like that thing sticking into the frame at lower left. That's my guess for this one.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:27 PM   #14
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That last frame on your flickr is a super shot as well.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:46 AM   #15
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Is this cropping job more acceptable? I removed the object poking in from the left hand side but tried to keep the railroad feel to the picture.
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Old 02-26-2009, 02:52 AM   #16
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Northern Limits, which photo are you referring to? The shot of RRVW 4105 with the water tower behind it?
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:43 AM   #17
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CP 8794 - it might not make this database, but I think the alignment of the headlights with the sunlight is really neat effect. I would suggest a tighter crop though.
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